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Mayor of Kingston, Councillor Desmond McKenzie has said that the country was in need of “a spiritual revolution” and that old family values should be revived for a better society.
The Mayor made the statement while addressing a recent event held in Toronto, Canada, to commemorate the life and work of Jamaican-born Bishop, Dr. Clinton Battieste, Chief Prelate of Redemption Faith Ministries International. “That spiritual revolution must begin with all of us,” Mr. McKenzie emphasized.
“There is a need for increased moral and spiritual guidance in Jamaica, and you in Toronto can help us to renew our faith and commitment in God and ensure that our Christian principles are adhered to at all times,” he said.
Noting that more recognition should be given to the value and contribution of teachers, nurses and social workers Mr. McKenzie said the nation needed to go back to the old custom of the family as the catalyst for a better society.
“We cannot be idolizing those individuals filling the airwaves with music which glorify gangsters and drug dealers and label law abiding citizens as informers and do not expect that this will have a negative effect on our children and the wider society,” he said.
Presenting Bishop Battieste with the Gold Medal of Kingston and St. Andrew for his outstanding contribution in the field of evangelism, the Mayor used the Bishop and his family as an example of “how good old time Jamaican family traditions can achieve success both at home and abroad.”
Bishop Battieste, born in Jamaica, was licensed in 1972 as an evangelist, became an ordained minister in 1975 and was promoted to bishop in 1983. In the late 1970s, he became the youngest general overseer for the Foursquare Gospel churches in Jamaica.
After migrating to Canada in 1980, Bishop Battieste founded the Redemption Faith Ministries International, which today is an association of ministries, churches and missions in more than 17 countries around the world, including Canada, Jamaica, Ghana, India, Malaysia and Sri Lanka.
Describing the bishop as “one whom while walking with kings and queens have never lost the common touch,” Councillor McKenzie also thanked him for his support of various social efforts in the island, including the restoration of the May Pen Cemetery.
Also paying tribute to Bishop Battieste was Jamaica’s Consul General to Toronto, Anne-Marie Bonner.”The Government and people of Jamaica are proud of and grateful to individuals such as Bishop Battieste who have excelled in their fields of endeavour,” said Mrs. Bonner. “This function is a recognition of the service and dedication of this pastor’s work, which has helped to enrich the lives of others and made our world a better place,” she added.
Bishop Battieste, a certified psychotherapist, is also President of the International College of Counselling and Ministry, co-founder of the International College of Pentecostal Bishops and Executive Member of the Council of International Charismatic Bishops.